Business owners in a Cardiff suburb have launched a campaign to combat parking and road safety problems in their high street.
Hairdressers, florists, restaurant-owners and a publican claim ongoing problems in Caerphilly Road, Birchgrove, have driven off their customers.
Dubbing the area, “Birchgrove Village”, the 13-member group wants to make the north Cardiff suburb more attractive to shoppers and businesses alike.
Flora Lazarou, 31, who manages Lazarou Brothers Hair Salon on Caerphilly Road, said parking is a “key issue” because current restrictions only allow her customers to park for one hour.
“From my point of view my customers need two to three hours for their colours,” she said, adding that the busy road also poses a danger to pedestrians.
Karen Elliott, 52, of Karen the Florist, said: “Parking all around the city is bad. People can’t nip into my shop as they can’t park anywhere. They can’t even park a couple of streets away as it’s bumper-to-bumper.”
Tim Reynolds, 62, who has managed the Birchgrove pub for the last 10 years, added: “It’s difficult to come up with possible solutions. We have a lay-by in front of the shops which is one hour-only parking.
“The council blocked off one or two lay-bys, one outside the Spar and the other outside the Wok and Go with bollards. They were used for parking but are not used for anything now.”
A spokeswoman for Cardiff council said: “The council understands the importance of supporting small businesses and during this month’s council meeting agreed a notice of motion to develop options designed to help sustain and enhance smaller parades of shops.
“Along Caerphilly Road there are a number of one-hour waiting bays for people to park their cars and if used correctly would provide a good turnover of vehicles to service the shops.”
There are also pedestrian crossings along the road, she said, adding that a new “pedestrian-friendly scheme” at the junction of Birchgrove Road and Caerphilly Road was being considered.
She said the bollards had been placed on former parking areas after locals complained that parked cars were obstructing pedestrians.
Councillor Ralph Cook, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Highways, Traffic and Transportation, added: “I would encourage residents and businesses with similar concerns to get in touch with their local councillors or alternatively I’m more than happy to be contacted directly to discuss traffic calming measures.”